Someone on Reddit called me a “weeb” recently because I enjoyed Tales of Berseria and the Neptunia games. Is it true? What an honour! Have I really reached that higher plane of existence?
Most gamers who happen to have an internet connection will, at some point, be forced to reflect upon themselves in their pursuit for self-actualisation. Even after a seemingly endless period of soul searching spent traversing the pure greens of Hyrule or the depths of Rapture, there is always a single question that must be asked before wisdom can be attained.
Am I a Weeb?
Countless hours have been spent studying the subject, all well documented and published within authoritative public forms available on the World Wide Web. Although an official doctrine has yet to be released to the masses, most likely because the transformation is defined too much by individuality, this think piece aims to provide some guidance to those still uncertain of who they are.
Bear in mind that this is only one person’s point of view. The path to weeb-hood is decided by the journeyman and nobody else. It can take centuries or a single year to achieve. And even if it remains beyond your grasp, please realise that it is not the end of the world. Life goes on.
It is okay to not be a weeb. Although in a perfect world, everyone should at least strive to reach that ideal.
An open mind paves the way
A weeb is not limited by their own culture or society. They are interested in what lies beyond the horizon and are determined to test whether the grass is truly greener on the other side (and it most definitely is). They want to experience that strange world at any given opportunity, using all the tools available to them. Authenticity is the primary goal. This can often be achieved via animation, virtual platforms or cultural drawings released bi-monthly.
Although variety is not at a premium, there are a few rites of passage that are considered vital to the development of a weeb. Thankfully, these have been made easier to obtain in recent years, with Senran Kagura Estival Versus finally making its way to the PC this week. Although Kagura can be overwhelming, as it relentlessly bombards the user with screen after screen of pointed teachings, mastering it is the fastest way to be recognised as a weeb.
Senran Kagura Estival Versus teaches restraint and the beauty of repetition. A streamlined Musou product, with a fun combo system and flashy visuals, Kagura is a perfect entry point for beginners. It is colourful, has largely happy and well-defined characters and is more than presentable. What was once confined to the secluded corners of the PlayStation 4 is now accessible to a wider audience. The more people that can experience the joy of using a schoolgirl ninja to take out hordes of her contemporaries, the better.
Just because it looks like a…
False prophets most definitely exist and they can be hard to distinguish from the real thing. Although scholars have tried to argue their merits for inclusion, these will cause more harm than good. Often characterised by violence and tainted by western adoration, titles like Dragon Ball and The Legend of Zelda are particularly harmful. Despite their seemingly honest origins, one would be laughed out of the weeb community if these are even brought up.
Even asking why something like Tales of Berseria is accepted while Metal Gear Solid is not would automatically get you labelled as uncultured. There are unwritten rules of being a weeb and understanding these basics is the first step to true enlightenment.
Just remember the game has to be created by Japanese designers, consist of mostly Japanese characters who speak the language and preferably be set in a Tokyo-esque city. Also, if there is mostly a young female cast, then you are practically dealing with a spiritual entity. These are THE weeb games.
An elusive definition
Sure, it might seem that this goes completely against the actual definition of the term ‘weeb’ – derived from ‘weeaboo’, a non-Japanese person who is fascinated by the Japanese culture – but someone on Reddit has declared it so, therefore it must be true.
Reaching a state of weeb is actually near impossible in this day and age. Sure, the phrase is passed around a lot, serving as an easy compliment to raise someone’s self-esteem, but that has just led to its true meaning being lost to the times.